Auctions

After 21 years of traveling the globe selling everything from airplanes to premium internet domain names, I felt it was time to share some of my experiences and insights into the auction world.
Live auctions have been around for thousands of years and is jokingly referred to the “second oldest profession” known to man. It is true that as long as man has traded goods and attempted to establish a fair market value, there have been auctions. Another common saying is that “if it’s sold, it’s sold at auction”. The types of things that are auctioned may surprise you. Did you know that there is a fish auction daily in such places as Boston and Bangor to establish the daily prices? And, every day, antiques and rugs and real estate and livestock is sold at an auction somewhere, all over the world. And, every day, the values of used cars are determined by professional dealer auctions held all over the world, as many as 100 cars per hour sold in each lane by a single auctioneer. 100 cars per hour, per lane, with as many as 16 lanes selling simultaneously, and 100’s of these auctions per day. Now that’s fast and that’s alot of rolling stock.

And, speaking of speed, this is one of the most common misconceptions regarding what an auctioneer does and what an auctioneer is supposed to be doing,…selling fast!?
Hollywood likes to portray the auctioneer as someone who rattles off numbers and words at a rapid-fire pace leaving the crowd and potential buyer scratching their heads in awe. Unfortunately, if an auctioneer is doing this, he is committing a grave injustice to both the buyers and the sellers. I’ll say this very clearly, and often, if the crowd doesnt understand the numbers they will not bid with confidence and if they aren’t comfortable with the bidding process, the merchandise will not bring the true potential value.
It is true that there are “professional” buyers at many of the dealer auctions and therefore the auctioneer may feel that he can zoom along without problems. My question has always been, what makes someone a “professional” buyer? The fact that they registered as a car dealer at a car auction and were handed a bidder card? How many “professionals” at the dealer-only auction have attended just once or twice and had to learn the hard way that the auctioneer at a car sale doesn’t always say the entire bid amount? That issue is an entire blog session coming in the near future because it is definately one of my pet peeves and something that I’ve tried hard to change over the years.

There are as many different types of auctioneers as there are types of people. Each brings his own personality and professionalism, or lack thereof, into the auction arena. I’ve always felt that the best auctioneers were the ones that loved being around people, because when it comes right down to it, if the crowd doesnt feel you like them, they are not going to respond well to what you have to say to them or sell to them.

USbeneftAuctions.com has completed another successful year with over 100 auctions and more money raised than in the previous season.   Lead Auctioneer, Wayne Wheat of Texas told CNN that the 2 Million dollar auction in New York this year was a giant step for our clients coming out of this recession.     Many of our clients are taking advantage of our Member Services ideas on the website and implementing techniques that are new, exciting and profitable for their organizations.     Also, one of the more popular services we provide is the ability to bring in very high end consignments to the events.   Everything from a Picasso sketch to a 7 day trip Tahiti can be supplied by our group and the organizations don’t have to knock on doors or go out a buy merchandise to sell.    Also, many of the clients have taken advantage of our fast-pay credit card and check card terminals and Escrow accounts.   The auction business continues to get more specialized, providing better service to buyers and sellers alike, and U.S. Benefit Auctions, LLC,  continues to lead the way.

Another huge requisite of being a good auctioneer, is PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE. If the auctioneer doesn’t know what he’s selling and the approximate value, how can he encourage the crowd, with confidence, to bid more? I have had occasions where I’ve contracted to sell businesses that I was not very familiar with and instead of trying to fake my way through the sale, I’ve contracted with auctioneers who specialized in that particular industry to help out. And, in the long run, I’ve made more money doing this because the prices were higher than I wouldve gotten without their help and by working with them, I actually learned something about the product that was being sold… like proto-plasma cutters!?
Ok, so this first blogging session was mostly me just getting on my soapbox and airing out some things that bug me in the business. Now, I want you, my dear bidders and perhaps fellow auctioneers, to share some of your auction stories and/or questions and lets have a conversation. I love auctions and am very blessed to have had the opportunities that I’ve had these many years, and it’s my wish that every auction experience is a good one for both sellers and buyers alike. Give me your stories……

About the Author
Wayne Wheat Is a professional auctioneer who has conducted some of the highest grossing and high-profile auctions in the benefit and fundraising industry since 1990. Wayne is an energetic performer who is comfortable in front of audiences of all sizes and enjoys interacting with bidders. His services include consulting with benefit groups through the auction method to create successful events. On the microphone, the experience and sales ability really makes the difference between an average auction and an exceptional one. Wayne is a two-time World Champion Auctioneer and former President of theTexas Auctioneers Association and Former National Spokesperson for the National Auctioneers Association.
Wayne is a Life-member with the National Auctioneers Association (NAA and is a 1990 graduate of Missouri Auction School. He is a former TV reporter and a former Captain in the U.S. Army and holds a degree from New Mexico Military Institute.

Wayne Wheat Is a professional auctioneer who has conducted some of the highest grossing and high-profile auctions in the benefit and fundraising industry since 1990. Wayne is an energetic performer who is comfortable in front of audiences of all sizes and enjoys interacting with bidders. His services include consulting with benefit groups through the auction method to create successful events. On the microphone, the experience and sales ability really makes the difference between an average auction and an exceptional one. Wayne is a two-time World Champion Auctioneer and former President of theTexas Auctioneers Association and Former National Spokesperson for the National Auctioneers Association.

Wayne is a Life-member with the National Auctioneers Association (NAA and is a 1990 graduate of Missouri Auction School.  He is a former TV reporter and a former Captain in the U.S. Army and holds a degree from New Mexico Military Institute.

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